Jean Bélanger

Real-Time Platform for the Control Prototyping and Simulation of Power Electronics and Motor Drives

Publication date : Jan 2010
Paper File : 2009_icmsao_RTsim_v2.pdf



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Author(s)

Simon Abourida, Jean Bélanger,

Abstract

The paper presents state-of-the-art technologies and platform for real-time simulation and control of motor drives, power converters and power systems. Through its support for Model-Based Design method with Simulink®, its powerful hardware (multi-core processors and FPGAs), and its specialized model libraries and solvers, this realtime simulator (RT-LAB™) enables the engineer and researcher to efficiently implement advanced control strategies on embedded hardware, or to conduct extensive testing of complex power electronics and real-time transient simulation of large power systems.

A Modern and Open Real-Time Digital Simulator of Contemporary Power Systems

Publication date :
Paper File : EMTP-RT.pdf



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Author(s)

Wei Li, Laurence A. Snider, Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Jean Bélanger, Claudio Pirolli,

Abstract

This paper describes a versatile, multi-domain, real-time digital simulator of large power grids. Its capability to conduct multiple tests for protection coordination studies is described. A large grid model built using the EMTP-RV software and simulated in real-time using the eMEGAsim real-time digital simulator and EMTP-RT software tool is described. Comparisons between off-line and real-time simulations with different solvers are made using superimposed steady-state and fault condition waveforms. A multiple random tests application for protection coordination studies using eMEGAsim simulator’s built-in software TestDrive GUI and Python API scripting tool is described. The paper concludes with a discussion on the off-line, real-time and acceleration modes of simulation of the PC-based eMEGAsim simulator and its advantages for studies of modern power systems.

A Real-Time Regulator, Turbine and Alternator Test Bench for Ensuring Generators Under Test Contribute to Whole System Stability

Publication date : Jun 2009
Paper File : Tech_Paper-Final-IFAC_ PPPSC09-Opal-RT-060409.pdf



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Author(s)

Marc Soullière, Marc Langevin, Jean Bélanger,

Abstract

A new Test Bench for speed governors has been developed and successfully tested in a simulation laboratory and in a Hydro-Québec hydroelectric powerhouse. Equipped with a Real-Time Simulator, the RT-LAB BERTA Test Bench makes it possible to cause the speed governor and turbine to react as though they are operating in an islanded power system, while remaining connected to the main grid. This ensures that the generating unit under test actually contributes to the stability of the whole power system. On-site testing has demonstrated that previous speed governor settings which were thought to be very stable were in fact generating undesirable power oscillations. Through the use of the proposed Test Bench, more accurate settings can be made on-site without the need to conduct laborious analyses.

Real-Time Simulation of HVDC Systems with eMEGAsim

Publication date : May 2009
Paper File : RealTime_Simulation_of_HVDC_Systems_with_eMEGAsim_3rdEdition.pdf



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Author(s)

Wei Li, Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Jean Bélanger,

Abstract

This document provides users with benchmark models to evaluate the OPAL-RT Technologies system configuration needed to develop research models for the following three HVDC transmission systems: • Bipolar HVDC model, • Monopolar back-to-back HVDC system based on the First CIGRE benchmark for HVDC control studies [1], and • Multi-Terminal HVDC System. The controllers and protections implemented in these models are described. Simulation results with additional comments are provided to demonstrate the feasibility of these models. The studied systems are modeled in an environment that integrates Simulink/SimPowerSystems (SPS) with the eMEGAsim simulation platform, which incorporates the ARTEMiS software for solving of the real-time simulated model and the RTeDrive and RT-Events blocksets. This platform enables the simulation of increasingly large systems with real-time performance across multiple CPUs. Through the use of the TestDrive graphical user interface platform from OPAL-RT Technologies, it is also demonstrated that observing results and modifying parameters and conditions on a real-time simulated model is both easy and user friendly.

Real-Time Simulation of VSC-based HVDC Systems using Rectification Capable Switching Function-Based 3-Level Inverter Models

Publication date : Jun 2008
Paper File : Not available yet

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Author(s)

Vincent Lapointe, Christian Dufour, Jean Bélanger,

Abstract

This paper presents a simulation model of a 3-level Neutral-Point Clamped IGBT inverter bridge suitable for real-time simulation testing. The model is switching-function based but also works in rectifying mode. Because of the large number of individual switches that compose such an inverter, the switching-function approach produces exceptional computational speed gain when compared to piecewise time-segment linear algorithms such as SimPowerSystems, both in off-line and real-time modes. A benchmark comparison of the model used in an HVDC-VSC application with the RT-LAB simulator has shown a 10-fold increase in hard real-time computational speed.

REAL-TIME PLATFORM FOR THE CONTROL PROTOTYPING AND SIMULATION OF POWER ELECTRONICS AND MOTOR DRIVES

Publication date : Jan 2009
Paper File : Paper-ICMSAO-2009_Opal-RT.pdf



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Author(s)

Simon Abourida, Jean Bélanger,

Abstract

The paper presents state-of-the-art technologies and platform for real-time simulation and control of motor drives, power converters and power systems. Through its support for Model-Based Design method with Simulink®, its powerful hardware (multi-core processors and FPGAs), and its specialized model libraries and solvers, this realtime simulator (RT-LAB™) enables the engineer and researcher to efficiently implement advanced control strategies on embedded hardware, or to conduct extensive testing of complex power electronics and real-time transient simulation of large power systems.

A Modern and Open Real-Time Digital Simulator of All-Electric Ships with a Multi- Platform Co-Simulation Approach

Publication date : Apr 2009
Paper File : Paper_ESTS_2009_Opal-RT_Final.pdf



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Author(s)

Wei Li, Loic Schoen, Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Jean Bélanger, Irene Peres, Hugo Kohmann, Cristina Olariu,

Abstract

Designing an All-Electric Ship (AES) requires testing of the interaction between hundreds of interconnected power electronic subsystems built by different manufacturers. Such integration tests require large analog test benches or the use of actual equipment during system commissioning. Fully digital simulators can also be used to perform Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) integration tests to evaluate the performance of some parts of these very complex systems. This approach, in use for decades in the automotive and aerospace industries, can significantly reduce the costs, duration and risks related to the use of actual equipment to conduct integration tests. However the computational power required to conduct detailed simulation of such diverse and numerous power electronic components can only be achieved through the use of distributed parallel supercomputers, optimized for hard real-time performance with jitter in the order of a few microseconds. Such supercomputers have traditionally been built using expensive custom computer boards. This paper presents the technology and performance achieved by the eMEGAsim real-time digital simulator, which is capable of meeting these challenges through the use of standard commercial INTEL quad-core computers interconnected by DOLPHIN SCI communication fabric. The precision achieved in the simulation of a detailed power electronic model implemented with SIMULINK and SimPowerSystems, and executed in parallel with RT-LAB, will also be presented using a typical basic AES configuration. Furthermore, AES design implies the collaboration between several multidisciplinary teams using different tools to simulate all electrical, mechanical and fluid dynamic subsystems. The ORCHESTRA real-time co-simulation publish-and-subscribe framework enabling the integration of multi-domain simulation tools will also be presented.

Very-high Speed Control of an FPGA-based Finite-Element-Analysis Permanent Magnet Synchronous Virtual Motor Drive System

Publication date : Oct 2008
Paper File : Paper_IECON_2008_Opal-RT_Dufour.pdf



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Author(s)

Jean Bélanger, Handy Blanchette, Christian Dufour,

Abstract

Presented in this paper are the results of tests involving high-speed closed-loop control of a virtual permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) drive implemented on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) card, connected to an external controller. Three types of motor drive models are actually implemented on the FPGA card of the RT-LAB based real-time simulator used: a Park (d-q) model along with two different implementations of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) based models. The first FEA model, previously published, is an FPGA implementation of a FEA model with an inductance calculation routine running on an associated CPU of the real-time simulator. The second FEA model has its inductance routine coded in the FPGA. One of the main objectives of the paper will be to compare the performance of the two FEA models. By virtue of the faster, FPGA-located, inductance routine update rate of the new model, it is expected that its precision at very high speed will be greater than the previous model, which was shown to be limited to 400 Hz electric frequency. The tests will be made in closed-loop mode for current control mode, at fixed speed, and also in speed control model. The controller is designed using Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) methodology based on Simulink, and is also run on a second RTLAB real-time simulator. The controller and the motor drive are interfaced through I/O channels only, not unlike a real motor drive: Analog I/O signals for motor current and resolver signals, and Digital I/O for the IGBT gate pulse signals and quadrature encoder signals. In contrast to a previously published work, the resolver signal decoding will be made with an Xilink System Generator (XSG) implementation of a Synchro/Resolver-To-Digital converter. The FPGA-based motor model is designed with the Xilinx System Generator (XSG) blockset with no HDL hand coding. Both motor models compute motor currents using a phasedomain algorithm solver that can take into account the instantaneous variation of inductance and non-sinusoidal induced voltage. The FEA-type model uses inductance and Back-EMF profiles computed with JMAG-RT. The d-q model use sinusoidal induced Back-EMF voltage and phase inductance values computed from Ld and Lq using the well-known Park transformation. A 3-phase IGBT inverter implemented in the FPGA chip drives the PMSM machine. The motor controller is a PWM vector controller designed in Simulink and running at a sample time of 50 microseconds. It is implemented on an RT-LAB simulator using standard Opal-RT FPGA-based I/O cards for Analog Input capture and PWM generation. The paper will present results from the closed-loop control of the PMSM drive in both current control and speed control modes and discuss the advantages of using such a virtual test bench for motor drives.

A Hardware-In-the-Loop Simulation Platform for Prototyping and Testing of Wind Generator Controllers

Publication date : Oct 2008
Paper File : CIGRE-Canada_Opal-RT.pdf



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Author(s)

Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Jean Bélanger, Christian Dufour,

Abstract

To meet the growing demand for integration of renewable energy sources onto today’s power grids, many engineers from different specialized fields must be involved since various types of studies need to be conducted. The integration of distributed generation (DG) sources significantly changes the characteristics of an entire network. Such interconnection projects will require analysis of power quality, transient response to fault occurrences, protection coordination studies and controller interaction studies. The first considerable challenge is related to power electronic converters, which are increasing in number and found on most DG sources. Accurately simulating fast switching devices requires the use of very small time steps to solve the system’s equations. Off-line simulation is widely used in the field, but it is time consuming if no precision compromise has been made on models (i.e. the use of average models). Moreover, off-line simulation tools do not offer the wide range of possibilities available with state-of-the-art distributed real-time simulators. Such tools combine, for instance, the efforts of control engineers and specialists from wind turbine manufacturers, who need to test their controllers using hardware-in-the-loop (HIL), together with those of network planning engineers from public utilities, who will conduct interconnection, interaction and protection studies. The eMEGAsim simulation platform is fully integrated with Simulink/SimPowerSystems (SPS) from The MathWorks and EMTP-RV. This makes eMEGAsim a valuable solution for engineers who already have models built with these off-line simulation applications, as well as for less experienced users. This paper focuses on the prototyping and testing of DG controllers using hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The model described in this paper is a 10-turbine wind farm connected to a single feeder, simulated using an eMEGAsim real-time simulator equipped with 8-processor cores. One of the wind turbines is controlled using an externally emulated controller. The emulated controller model consists of a replica of all other wind turbine controllers, which are locally simulated in the plant model. It is modeled and simulated using a dual-processor core real-time simulator, which interacts with the plant model via analog and fast digital inputs and outputs. This paper validates the proposed real-time simulator for the study of wind-farm electromagnetic disturbance studies with HIL-connected DFIG controllers, specifically that the simulator can be interfaced with high-frequency PWM controllers without distortions caused by the sampling time of the simulator.

A Multi-Core PC-based Simulator for the Hardware-In-the-Loop Testing of Modern Train and Ship Traction Systems

Publication date : Sep 2008
Paper File : EPE-2008_TrainShipTractionSystems_Opal-RT.pdf



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Author(s)

Jean-Nicolas Paquin, Jean Bélanger, Guillaume Dumur, Christian Dufour,

Abstract

Today, the development and integration of train and ship controllers is a more difficult task than ever. Emergence of high-power switching devices has enabled the development of new solutions with improved controllability and efficiency. It has also increased the necessity for more stringent test and integration capabilities since these new topologies come with less design experience on the part of the system designers. To address this issue, a real-time simulator can be a very useful tool to test, validate and integrate the various subsystems of modern rail vehicle devices. This paper presents such a real-time simulator, based on commercial-off-the-shelf PC technology, suitable for the simulation of train and ship propulsion devices. The requirements for rail/water vehicle test and integration reaches several levels on the control hierarchy from low-level power electronic converters used for propulsion and auxiliary systems to high-level supervisory controls. This paper places great emphasis on the real-time simulation of several high-power drives used for train and ship propulsion, including a multi-induction machine drive, a three-level GTO - PMSM drive and a high-power thyristor-based converter - synchronous machine drive. All models are designed first with the SimPowerSystems blockset and then automatically compiled and run on commercial PCs under RT-LAB. Interfaces to I/O are also made at the Simulink model level without any low-level coding required by the user. Supervisory control integration and testing can also be made using the RT-LAB real-time simulator. The other objective of this paper is to demonstrate that HIL testing of complex drives, such as the those found on trains, can be done using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software and hardware and model-based design techniques that only require high-level system models suitable for system specifications down to controller test and final system integration.

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